Archive for June, 2012

Jun 27, 2012

Wine Spotlight: Honig

At Heirloom, we support businesses that not only produce an amazing product, but do so in a sustainable, environmentally conscious way.

Honig Winery is one of those businesses. They are on the Communal wine list as much for their sustainable practices as they are for the quality of their wines. Their motto is “Doing well while doing good.”

In 1964, Louis Honig purchased a 68-acre ranch in the heart of the Napa Valley and planted it with Sauvignon Blanc and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes. He sold the fruit to neighboring wineries with the dream of retiring one day from his San Francisco advertising business and making wine from his vineyard in Rutherford. Before he could realize his dream, Louis passed away, leaving the estate to his children and grandchildren. In 1981, as a tribute to his legacy, the family rallied together to produce several hundred cases of Louis Honig Sauvignon Blanc in the vineyard’s old tractor barn. The wine won a Gold Medal at the Orange County Fair, and thus, the winery was born.

At the age of 22, Michael Honig took the reins of his struggling, family vineyard and winery. With an old meat locker for an office, a shoebox marked “miscellaneous” for an accounting system and no training, he began canvassing the streets of San Francisco, selling wine and delivering it himself. As president of the winery, he has built a strong team and transformed the business into a success.

A leader in sustainable farming, he chaired the first California initiative to develop a “Code of Sustainable Winegrowing Practices,” a voluntary program establishing statewide guidelines for sustainable farming and winemaking. He is also involved in an innovative pilot program that trains yellow lab puppies to detect vine mealy bugs in the vineyard.

Honig’s sustainable practices include:

  • Solar power – their photovoltaic system generates enough power to run the winery, including cooling and bottling
  • Planting cover crops to provide nutrients and soil microorganisms
  • Installing owl, bluebird, and bat houses tor natural pest and rodent
  • Mechanically tilling rather than spraying herbicides
  • Installing blue bird nesting boxes
  • Using bio diesel in our tractors
  • Using drip irrigation to minimize water use
  • Improving habitat along the edge of the vineyard
  • Replant vineyard border with native species
  • Certified in Fish Friendly Farming
  • Compost grape skins, seeds, stems
  • Recycle glass, cardboard, metal, paper and plastics,
  • Bottle wine in lighter weight glass

Join us at Communal on July 7 at 6:00PM for a Honig Wine Dinner. Meet Honig winemaker Kristin Belair and enjoy a 3 course meal with tastings of 5 Honig wines. Call (801) 373-8000 to ask questions or sign up.

Find out more about Honig at www.honigwine.com.

Jun 26, 2012

Mingle @ Soel

Heirloom Group will be at Soel Boutique for a fun event tonight! Everyone’s invited to mingle, chat, sample some delicious treats, and win some swag. See you there!

Jun 22, 2012

Taylor Mason

Meet Taylor Mason, General Manager of Pizzeria 712. After visiting Pizzeria 712 for his mother’s birthday one year, Taylor became interested in what it could offer. Originally hired as a dishwasher, Taylor moved on to Sous Chef, and then Chef. After excelling at those roles, he became General Manager after a short 3 years. Taylor also teaches a monthly instructional dinner at Communal.

Taylor Mason | General Manager, Pizzeria 712 | Heirloom Restaurant Group

Where are you from?
I was born in Provo, but moved to Heber, Utah, when I was 12.

What was it like growing up in Heber?
I love the city of Heber.  It has the intimacy of a small town without being separated from everything.  The summers were always fantastic and the winters not so much.  I had my first restaurant job in high school up there.  It was a small place called Snake Creek Grill and it certainly sparked my desire to pursue restaurants.

What attracted you to P712 and the restaurant industry?
I was excited by a chef/food driven restaurant.  I love the restaurant industry because I can work to perfecting it everyday.  A restaurant has so many facets and moving parts that I could never be finished making it perfect.  That is what drives me, perfection.

Taylor and Megan Mason | Pizzeria 712 | Heirloom Restaurant Group

How did you meet Megan, your wife?
I met Megan while working at the Pizzeria.  Her brother, Ethan, was my chef at the time.  She would visit and we would say hello, but not much else.  Not until we (Ethan and wife, Megan, Myself) took an eating trip to Vegas did I get serious.  Seeing her appreciation for food and drink definitely helped seal the deal.  We married a little over a year later in Vegas.  The best thing about my wife is also her worst at times.  It is her Honesty.  She holds me to a high standard, and doesn’t let me get away with anything.  She has helped me become who I am because of this.

What do you do outside of Pizzeria 712?
Megan and I recently started raising Arabian horses. My family has been breeding Arabians for over 50 years. It is in my blood and I have been surrounded by them my entire life. They’re a deeply rooted passion..

Taylor Mason | Pizzeria 712 | Heirloom Restaurant Group

Who is your food idol?
My food idol would have to be Suzanne Goin.  She is a visionary in her own right.  Her food always inspires me and her restaurants are truly ethereal.

What’s in your fridge right now?
Fresh Produce, Aged White Cheddar, Fentiman’s Tonic Water, Beer, Wine, Sriracha and Winder Milk.  That is everything.

Who does your hair? (It’s pretty amazing.)
Thank you.  Really thank you.  David Dawson at Shep Salon does my hair and has been for almost two years now.  He knows exactly what I like, which is important because I am very particular.

The best meal I’ve ever had was…..
The best meal is the one I have had most recently.  Nothing about the food was inspiring or sensational, but the company was marvelous.  Hours went by before I knew it and I left feeling completely satisfied.  Sometimes for me the food/ambiance/service isn’t that important, it’s who I share it with that makes the most lasting impression. Food/Service wise though it would have to be Gramercy Tavern in NYC.  Everything was spot on and the company was even better.  Hands down that meal raised the bar tenfold.

What do you like best about the cooking classes?
I love breaking down the barriers that we put up around food.  Giving people the confidence to make their own food fantastic.  It is just food and this is how you make it great.  Not by adding or doing much to it, but by respecting it and letting it be what it is.

Meet Taylor in person and sign up for his July Instructional Dinner (July 9) by calling (801) 623-6712.

Taylor Mason | Cooking Class | Heirloom Restaurant Group
Photos by Alyssa Vincent

 

Jun 17, 2012

The Best Way to Dad’s Heart

Forget the “free hugs” coupons and hastily-wrapped book you grabbed from your coffee table — if you have waited until the last minute to get Dad a gift, we have something that will make you look like the World’s Best Kid (or Mom).

Think flames! And knives! And food!

Treat Dad to a gift certificate for an instructional dinner taught by Pizzeria 712’s Taylor Mason. Not only will he get a crash course on how to be the next Iron Chef, he’ll get to eat the delicious results — each class comes with a multi-course meal using the best local and seasonal ingredients.

At May’s Instructional dinner, Taylor started with a crisp wedge salad dressed in a creamy blue cheese dressing with a base of homemade mayonnaise.

Wedge Salad

Wedge Salad

Next came a juicy pork loin with sides of spring asparagus and a red potato hash with artichoke hearts, grana pedano, and dandelion greens.

Spring Asparagus; Pork Loin

Spring Asparagus; Pork Loin

 

Red Potato Hash
Red Potato Hash

Dessert was an airy shortcake covered with sweet strawberries and hand whipped cream.

Strawberry Shortcake

Strawberry Shortcake

Classes are held at Communal (102 N. University, Provo) on the second Monday of each month at 6pm.  Call (801) 623-6712 to reserve Dad’s spot at July’s Instructional dinner. Busy in July? Then purchase a Communal Gift Certificate for a future date.

Photos by Alyssa Vincent.